Controversy. There is more than enough of it when it comes to using cannabis for cancer.
Nevertheless, the controversy is lessening every day as more medical studies and research findings show the true value that this drug can have for cancer patients.
Not only can marijuana help treat unpleasant side effects of other cancer treatments but the drug itself can be beneficial in helping your body fight this disease as well. Unfortunately, there are still many skeptics when it comes to medical marijuana for any reason, even cannabis for cancer.
There are many myths that are still circulating and keeping people from accepting the medical benefits of marijuana. Patients who have legitimate medical needs are still not able to obtain legal cannabis for cancer in many states. The federal government may still deny that marijuana has medical benefits, even while the FDA approves synthetic THC based drugs. But medical science tells a completely different story.
Medical Studies Show Cannabis for Cancer Works with Many Patients
There have been many medical studies that show the effectiveness of cannabis for cancer. The reasoning of the federal government in refusing to remove marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug is that there have not been enough clinical trials of marijuana to approve the use of the drug. As long as the government says there is no medical value, human clinical trials will be extremely restricted.
What Cancer Symptoms can Cannabis Treat?
Many different symptoms can be successfully treated using cannabis for cancer. These can include:
- Chronic or severe pain
- Frequent vomiting
- Body aches
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
The Cannabis Strains Used are Important
Many of the benefits that cancer patients get from cannabis have to do with the CBD and the THC levels in the marijuana, so strain is an important consideration. Some strains may be better suited to eliminate certain unpleasant symptoms, certain strains may offer better pain relief, and some strains can help with sleep or anxiety and depression.
Can Cannabis Cause Tumors to Shrink or Disappear?
Some of the research on cannabis for cancer has actually shown that this drug can slow down tumor growth, shrink tumors considerably, and even cause tumors to disappear completely in rare cases. This is especially promising for patients who cannot undergo more traditional medical therapies to shrink tumors; such as radiation and chemotherapy.
What Cancers may Benefit from Marijuana Use?
Some of the cancers that could benefit from medical marijuana use according to the various studies that have been done include:
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Blood cancer
- Oral cancer
Marijuana and Narcotic Pain Medications
Research on cannabis for cancer shows one fact that was surprising. When cancer patients who use narcotic pain medications also used marijuana, the researchers found that these patients had better pain relief and they usually required less of the opioid narcotic drug in order to control their pain. Medical professionals who understand this fact may provide better patient care.
For some cancer patients they are in a position where their medical care provider makes them chose between medical marijuana and other forms of pain management. This is not a fair choice, especially with the growing body of scientific evidence that shows combining both treatments can be far more effective than narcotic drugs alone at controlling pain.
Pain Management Clinics and Marijuana Testing
With the growing pain pill addiction crisis in the United States, many patients who use cannabis for cancer must also go to a special pain management clinic in order to obtain prescription pain medications that they need to control severe and chronic pain. Many of these clinics test for marijuana though, and they will not provide the needed medications for medical marijuana users.
There are no federal laws that require marijuana testing, and this is not the reason that drug testing was implemented in the first place. Individuals who abuse pain medications will often abuse other illegal street drugs as well, and this can place them at risk. Medical marijuana users who have cancer should not be discriminated against for using cannabis for cancer – or forced to choose between treatment options.